Surgeons seek to block heart league tables

An article in the Daily Telegraph today claims leading heart surgeons are against the publication of operation survival league tables.

If heart surgeons are so concerned about the public then they should publish and be damned. The solution to ambiguous or unclear statistics is more information, not less. Where surgeons are concerned that those who operate on risky patients will be unfairly penalised then the solution is simply to include the risk factors in the survival rate statistics.

Better to make the current statistics public in whatever form they take so we can all see (public and surgeons alike) how this information is being collated across different trusts. Publication creates a powerful incentive to unify and clarify statistics. In secrecy, no such pressure exists and the results have clearly not been in the public interest as the Harold Shipman and Alder Hey scandals make clear.

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